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Great Performances At The Met: Boris Godunov

Airs Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Courtesy of WNET/THIRTEEN and The Metropolitan Opera Association

Above: René Pape as Boris Godunov

René Pape takes on one of the greatest bass roles in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth. Valery Gergiev conducts Mussorgsky’s epic spectacle that captures the suffering and ambition of a nation, with Aleksandrs Antonenko, Vladimir Ognovenko, and Ekaterina Semenchuk leading the huge cast.

"Great Performances At The Met: Boris Godunov" is directed for television by Brian Large and hosted by soprano Patricia Racette. Jay David Saks is the music producer. The performance is sung in Russian with English subtitles.

The Wall Street Journal called the performance “an engrossing theatrical event” and cited the production as a “deeply moving, complex and tragic portrait of Russia that melds historical sweep with intimate and detailed personal encounters.” Pape “is ideal for the role” of the guilt-ridden tsar, said The New York Times, and “riveting in Boris’s death scene.”

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Preview: Great Performances At The Met: Boris Godunov

Watch the full episode. See more Great Performances.

Adapted from a play by Alexander Pushkin about the extraordinary reign of the 16th-century tsar, "Boris Godunov" is regarded as one of the masterpieces of the Russian operatic repertoire.

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